MWSF: ATI unveils Radeon 7000, 8500 Mac cards

Today graphics chip and card maker ATI Technologies, Inc. announced their newest graphics cards for the Macintosh -- the Radeon 7000 Mac Edition and Radeon 8500 Mac Edition. One card offers dual display graphics capabilities for mainstream consumers while the other offers cutting edge performance for gamers and pro users.

Radeon 7000 Mac Edition

The Radeon 7000 Mac Edition is a PCI-based graphics card which features 32MB of DDR memory. The card supports Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X, accelerating QuickTime and OpenGL graphics rendering. The card supports DVD playback via ATI's Video Immersion technology, and Full Scene Anti-Aliasing (FSAA) technology can be activated to smooth jaggy 3D images in real time.

The Radeon 7000 Mac Edition features three video connectors -- DVI-I, a digital interface compatible with many third-party flat panel displays; VGA, for standard CRT monitors, and S-Video out. Any two of the three connectors can be used to output video, enabling users to utilize a Mac equipped with the card as a dual-display system.

ATI said the card will be shipping to distributors and retailers and will be on shelves next week. The Radeon 7000 Mac Edition card carries a suggested retail price of US$129.

Radeon 8500 Mac Edition

ATI has also introduced its answer to rival nVidia's GeForce 3 graphics hardware, the AGP-based Radeon 8500 Mac Edition. The graphics board uses the Radeon 8500 graphics processing unit ATI originally released in 2001 for PC users.

The Radeon 8500 Mac Edition features a core clock speed of 250MHz and a memory clock speed of 275MHz. 64 MB of DDR memory is included.

The Radeon 8500 Mac Edition introduces Mac users to a number of new technologies, including:

  • Truform, ATI's rendering technology which smooths 3D images in a way that doesn't significantly impact the card's ability to process complex 3D graphics;
  • Smoothvision, a full scene anti-aliasing technology.
  • Smartshader, ATI's programmable pixel and vertex shader technology;
  • Hyper Z II, a memory bandwidth saving technology;
  • Charisma Engine II, a hardware transform, clipping and lighting engine that features a peak processing capability of up to 62.5 million triangles per second;
  • Pixel Tapestry II, a high-performance 3D rendering engine featuring four rendering pipelines;
  • Video Immersion II, the second generation of ATI's DVD playback and video de-interlacing technology.
  • The card is compatible with AGP-equipped Power Mac G4s running Mac OS 9 or Mac OS X (no PCI version is available). The Radeon 8500 Mac Edition also sports DVI-I, VGA and TV-out connectors, and like the Radeon 7500 Mac Edition, this card can be used with multiple displays.

    ATI said the Radeon 8500 Mac Edition card will be available beginning in February. It carries a suggested retail price of US$299. MacCentral will be meeting with ATI during this week's Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco, Calif. Anticipate seeing more details soon.

    This story, "MWSF: ATI unveils Radeon 7000, 8500 Mac cards" was originally published by PCWorld.

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